Visitor Question

Rear Ended in Traffic Pile Up…

Submitted By: Charles (Toledo, Ohio)

I was stopped behind a couple of cars turning left and was hit by 3 cars in the rear. I guess the first car to hit the line is at fault. I got whiplash and pain in my lower back and left leg. I’m going to the doctor. What do you think the case will be like?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Charles,

Well, there may be multiple layers of fault.

Of course the first car to collide is at fault, however there is a car-lengths rule that requires drivers to allow a certain distance between vehicles.

It is possible that the other drivers that hit you may also be at fault considering that Ohio follows a modified comparative fault rule. If those drivers are found to be more than 51% at fault, they cannot recover so you may want to consider filing insurance claims against all who hit you.

As far as your question, I would say that the first thing you want to do is make sure that you seek appropriate medical care. Your doctor will advise you of the steps needed in the course of treatment and will establish a treatment plan that works for you.

Additionally, you will want to file a claim with those at fault so that you have an adjuster to deal with. Once you have concluded treatment and your doctor feels that you are 100% back to normal or as close to normal as you can get, you will need to gather all of your medical records and bills and draft a skilled demand letter that articulates each and every point which substantiates your claim for damages.

The insurance company will typically not settle for your first demand, but rather will go back and forth with you in the spirit of negotiation until a final settlement can be reached.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: September 3, 2011

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